updated 04:05 pm EDT, Tue September 23, 2008
iPhone 3G buy-at-home
Confirming anonymous information from yesterday, Apple has officially announced the introduction of a buy-at-home scheme for the iPhone. The Begin at Home program allows buyers to enter billing information through Apple's website, check eligibility and costs, and then pick a carrier plan. Once billing and eligibility are cleared, people can then travel to an Apple Store and pick up their iPhone.
The program does have limitations; phones are still being sold on a first-come-first-served basis for instance, rather than by scheduled pickup. If subscribing under AT&T, those qualified as "Corporate Responsibility Users" -- or new Individual Responsibility Users -- must forgo the website process, and contact the carrier themselves.
The scheme is likely a preventative measure in face of the holidays, which may see vast numbers of people attempting to buy an iPhone simultaneously. Long lines raised havoc during the launch of the iPhone 3G on July 11th, crashing activation systems, and forcing buyers to wait hours or days before they could use their purchases.